The Uttar Pradesh weavers and artisans to see good days as various schemes will start taking shape soon, said Union minister of state for textiles (independent charge) Santosh Kumar Gangwar here on Friday. There will be no lack or shortage of funds for handloom and handicrafts as the Central government is committed to uplift the living standard of handloom weavers and artisans.
Gangwar is also in talks with UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to develop the cultural complex as a centre of excellence and bring other projects like Textile Park to improve the sector.
To provide market links to weavers and artisans, the ministry has identified prominent towns for establishing urban haat. Such initiative would give a platform where they could sell their products directly to buyers.
To promote handloom products of Varanasi, a trade facilitation centre and a crafts museum were proposed in this year's Union budget with an allocation of Rs 50 crore. Besides, a fund of Rs 500 crore was set aside for developing a textile mega-cluster at Varanasi, Bareilly, Lucknow, Surat, Kutch, Bhagalpur and Mysore. Besides, an MoU was also signed between the ministry of textiles and Flipkart, a leading online marketplace in the country, to boost the handloom sector.
Gangwar inaugurated the workshop on skill development and design at the Cultural Complex in Chowkaghat. He also distributed tool-kits and handloom parts to weavers and artisans on the occasion.
Development Commission (handloom) Dinesh Kumar said that in Varanasi alone, there are 38,000 handloom units, engaging 1 lakh people. For promotion of this sector, Varanasi will get a mega handloom cluster at a cost of Rs 70 crore, one large cluster at the cost of Rs 2 crore and 11 mini clusters at the cost of Rs 4.61 crore.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been also requested to include handloom weavers under the purview of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to enhance their earning. There are approximately 1 crore weavers in handloom sector and artisans in the country. The matter of concern is that their number is declining. Moreover, the younger generation is not showing interest in these sectors. This decline can be stopped by linking various schemes meant for them with MGNREGA.
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